Safety a priority for food delivery drivers

Food delivery drivers face safety issues

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Food delivery drivers hope for a safe Halloween after some scary situations Monday night.

Rochester Police responded to two separate 911 calls for delivery drivers on Monday night — one robbed at knifepoint, the other attacked with pepper spray.    

Police said they have no reason to believe the two calls are related, even though they happened within minutes of each other.

The first call was around 9:30 p.m., on Electric Avenue. Police said a food delivery driver was near his destination when two suspects threatened him with a knife. They took his food and drove off in another car.

Fifteen minutes later, on Post and Congress avenues, there came another call. That delivery driver showed up at his destination and was threatened with pepper spray.

As he handed over the food, the thief sprayed him. Police said at least one suspect was standing by a number of young adults, before taking the food, and stealing the victim’s car.

Police found the car, but no suspects yet.

In light of Halloween, News10NBC spoke to a local pizza joint where they handle deliveries themselves.

Steven Carline is general manager at Pizza 151 in North Chili. He heard about the news last night, and said it’s freaked him out a bit.

“So I occasionally take deliveries but after I saw that, I kind of reminded the drivers to be on the lookout for anything that might be off,” he said. “Our delivery system is set up so we know where our delivery drivers are going at all times, and the routes they’re taking, so if it seems like they might be out for longer than it should’ve taken, we’ll check up on them, make sure they’re okay.”

Carline said he’s reminding employees to keep doors locked, and look out for surroundings.

“It’s definitely scary but there’s kind of always going to be circumstances that play a part in it. Just kind of one of those things you have to be prepared for.”

News10NBC spoke to another local business who wished to remain anonymous:

“It is always instructed to my drivers, that if a situation doesn’t look or feel right, that I give them the right to not make contact with that delivery address, and then I handle contacting the customer,” the business owner said. “We had one incident about two years ago where a delivery driver did go to an address in the city and was approached by two males during the day. My delivery driver did have a knife on him, which he displayed and was able to get back to his vehicle without incident. That delivery driver did end up quitting within that week because of that incident.”